COVID-19 update graphic

Douglas County will move down to the moderate risk level for COVID-19 Friday, with some easing of restrictions on local businesses.

But the Douglas County Board of Commissioners signed a letter Tuesday to Gov. Kate Brown voicing solidarity with the 15 counties that are about to be bumped up to extreme risk, creating more restrictions for businesses in those counties.

The governor announced the new restrictions Tuesday, citing an increase in cases and hospitalizations statewide.

The commissioners joined a coalition of 76 other county commissioners, judges and the president of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, who asked the governor to reconsider her plans.

The letter acknowledged the problem of rising hospitalizations but also said it’s also important to keep restaurants open across the state.

“The virus continues to take a grave toll on our local economies with restaurants representing one of the key cornerstones fueling connectivity, hope, and mental health for our residents. These are the places we break bread, share inspiration, and encourage one another and the COVID crisis has stripped us of these life essentials,” the letter said.

The Douglas County commissioners said they also disagree with the governor’s decision to announce new risk level assessments weekly rather than every other week.

“The change would create even more uncertainty and employment woes for our already struggling businesses and their employees,” the commissioners said in a written statement Wednesday.

The Tuesday letter said the time has come to allow communities to move forward.

“Our people understand the risks associated with COVID and our businesses have proven their ability to adhere to the highest expectations in safety, sanitation, and air quality. It is no coincidence Oregon has not seen one instance of a super spreader event tied to our hospitality industry,” the letter said.

The Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team reported 11 new cases Wednesday.

Eleven county residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, seven locally and four out of the area.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 888 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths Wednesday.

To date, 40.2% of Oregonians have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, and 27.2% have been fully vaccinated.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,543,640 first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 1,257,015 first and second doses of Moderna and 93,001 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

In Douglas County, 29.3% of residents have received at least one dose and a total of 55,950 doses have been given to 32,858 people. To date, 25,351 people have been fully vaccinated, having received either one dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

It was another quiet week for Douglas County in the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly outbreak list published Wednesday.

No Douglas County nursing homes were listed with active outbreaks.

Roseburg Forest Products Dillard Composites had three new cases bringing its total to 13. That workplace outbreak began April 13, with the most recent case reported April 16.

Roseburg Forest Products Dillard Plywood had no new cases in its outbreak, leaving its total at 17. That outbreak began March 11, with the most recent case reported on April 7.

Costco had no new cases this week in its nine case outbreak. That outbreak began April 6, with the most recent case reported on April 11.

There were no new school outbreaks in the weekly report. However, data was collected only through Sunday. On Wednesday, Roseburg Public Schools announced a positive COVID-19 case at Eastwood Elementary School.

Aviva Health will hold a vaccination event in Drain on Thursday.

The event will run from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. Thursday at the Drain Civic Center, 205 West “A” Avenue.

The event is open to anyone 16 or older, and walk-ins are welcome.

The Douglas Public Health Network announced it will begin a new #itsyourturn social media and advertising campaign this week encouraging everyone 16 and older to get vaccinated.

“Everyone over the age of 16 is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and we want people to know they are eligible and that we have vaccine available. Having the majority of our residents vaccinated is the surest road to getting back the sense of normalcy and freedom that we all miss and want,” Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said in a press release.

To get vaccinated, you can send an email to vaccines@douglaspublichealthnetwork.org, call your primary health care provider, ask for a referral, contact your pharmacy or sign up for one of the vaccination clinics offered through the health network, Douglas County, Aviva Health or the rural clinics run by the Douglas County Tiger Team.

More information is also available at the Douglas County COVID-19 Hotline at 541-464-6550. Or seniors can call Douglas County Senior Services at 541-440-3677.

Coastal residents can call the Lower Umpqua Hospital District COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 541-271-2175.

Members of the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians can call 541-672-9405 or log onto https://www.cowcreek-nsn.gov/public-health/.

Veterans can contact the Roseburg VA Medical Center at 541-440-1000 or log onto https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(8) comments

sectorstar

Much like Dallas Heard, the commissioners engage in the same behaviors where if theres even the slightest chance of being made to look bad, it's better to stay silent and not answer vital questions. If this was any of their facebooks being asked these questions you'd probably be blocked from further posting on their pages like several people have reported them behaving as well when asked important questions too.

mworden

Dear Commissioner Boice, you were asked a reasonable question by Marine Vet. You stated, " If the closures were directly related to the spread of the virus, I would consider them a lifeline, like a seatbelt..."

Marine Vet then said, "So You wouldn't have a Problem Shutting down the Church's which have been Responsible for Many Many of the Outbreaks here then. Right.?"

Can you please clarify what you meant?

CitizenJoe

Our idjit commish referred to the Governor as "punishing" people. No, no, no; only a childish mindset would believe that. Adults know that good medicine sometimes tastes bad, that seatbelts may be a bit uncomfy, and that math requires homework. But Republicans are increasingly resistant to even the tiniest inconvenience; they are mostly whining, petulant infants.

And I mean no disrespect to infants. They have some potential. And they are cute.

Chris Boice

Considering the fact that case counts are in no way related to the businesses that are being closed, I consider it a punishment because that is exactly what it is. If the closures were directly related to the spread of the virus, I would consider them a lifeline, like a seatbelt...

Marine Vet

So You wouldn't have a Problem Shutting down the Church's which have been Responsible for Many Many of the Outbreaks here then. Right.? Or How doe's any religion cross over the health of the Total Population of said ares.?

OregonHusker

Sure you would. You've been in lockstep with the former president from the beginning of this pandemic. You have continued with the anti-science crowd. I have yet to see you say anything positive about our governor's response to the pandemic despite Oregon having better results than most states.

NJ

Please expound on how one proves Covid cases are not related to the businesses in counties in which risk levels change? Please expound on your definition of this punishment and why you feel so very many commissioners, judges, and the restaurant and lodging association president find this a punishment so egregious. Have any of these businesses taken advantage of the PPP program to insure their employees remain paid during this time of flucuation? Is there anything you'd like to say to reassure residents here in Douglas County that all this undertaking isn't more politically motivated rather than health motivated? Do you feel it's more important to make money at the risk of more virus cases? Do you feel the Douglas County Commission is doing everything they can to support wiping out this deadly virus? I'd like to believe you and the other commissioners were, but then I read this comment from you and it reads rather immature on its own.

Mike

Douglas County has reported 43 new coronavirus cases in the past three days.

Commissioner Boice knows his own Douglas County will soon be forced to return to the high or extreme risk category again....all under his leadership causing more cases by continually fighting coronavirus restrictions that save lives.

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